Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Thom Kelling - A Dutch Latino

Thom Kelling - De gevierde zigeuner met zijn gitaar ( Nederlands) Thom Kelling - A celebrated gypsy guitar player ( English) Thom Kelling - Een Hollandse Latino ( Nederlands) Thom Kelling - A Dutch Latino ( English)

From Tempo Latina up to a Smash Hit or Fiasco......
Hans Koert

Almost three years ago I posted a contribution about the Dutch entertainer, guitar player and vocalist Thom Kelling. He became known for his Latin American repertoire and he had some hits in the 1950s with tunes like Maria Dolores and Lola. I posted a blog about him remembering the fact that he was one of the first artists I heard in a live concert somewhere mid 1960s. I still remember standing in line to get his autograph .............
Thom Kelling's Tempo Latino (Jan. 1957): f.l.t.r.: Guus "Broer" Arends percussion - Ger Van Leeuwen piano - Thom Kelling guitar - Ger Daalhuizen bass - Wim van der Beek percussion.( photo: Herman Openneer archive - NJA Bulletin 16 (June 1995))
Some weeks ago Frenk van Meeteren from The Hague contacted me, because he had found two glass based records with three tunes sung by Thom Kelling: You Stepped Out Of A Dream - two takes of Ik Denk Nog Steeds Aan Jou and an unknown English tune, problably one of his own composition. A good reason to find out more about his life and career. The first contribution was called: Thom Kelling: A Celebrated Gypsy Guitar Player; today part two: Thom Kelling - A Dutch Latino.

After his contract with Piet Van Dijk, Thom became a member of the hammondkwintet from Bernard Drukker and performed with Maria Zamora, born as Marietje Jansen, but that doesn't sound well, if you sing the Latin American repertoire. During the 1950s he founded his own band, the Tempo Latino, and married José Lewis, who was a dancer and choreographer. During the 1950s he made a lot of recordings, most released by Philips. During the second half of the 1950s he got his own radio program with the Tempo Latino orchestra, directed by Wim Kuilenburg.
He became a sought after entertainer during the 1950s and 1960s, who played in radio programs and even got a role in the film Het Wonderlijke Leven van Willem Parel, with Wim Sonneveld as the major character. This film was released in 1955. I found a fragment where you can see Thom playing the guitar and singing in duet with Wim Sonneveld aka Willem Parel:
De Wonderen Zijn de Wereld Nog Niet Uit.

An "exclusive night out" at "De Manege" in Apeldoorn: 1957
During the early 1960s he became a member of the popular program Top of Flop ( = A Smash Hit of Fiasco), presented by Herman Stok in which the members of a panel judge about popular tunes played in a jukebox. Thom Kelling is one of the members of the panel, beside Ria Valk, a vocalist of popular songs, Kitty Jansen, a Dutch actress and Henk Stibbe, a record producer. If you like you can see one of the first programs here.
Shot from the Het Wonderlijke Leven van Willem Parel movie (1955). In the middle Wim Sonneveld - far right: Thom Kelling.
The program became very popular and will be remembered by the elder Dutch generation. Thom Kelling passed away September 1968 aged 45 years old.
Another shot from the film Het Wonderlijke Leven van Willem Parel with at the left Wim Sonneveld and a the right Thom Kelling.

The three tunes on the glass based records must have been recorded somewhere in the 1940s or early 1950s. You Stepped Out Of My Dreams was written in 1940 - Ik Denk Nog Steeds Aan Jou seems to be a Thom Kelling composition, like the unknow Latin-American tune. Frenk loves to know more about these glass based records:
Thanks to Jerry Priessen for the advertisement found in Tuney Tunes of June 1954 and the photo of the record covers. Thanks to Frenk Van Meeteren for the record scans.
Hans Koert

Thom Kelling was for me the first artist I heard in a live concert ... After the concert all my friends stood in line to get his autograph ... so did I !! He came to Goes ( in the southwest part of The Netherlands), a small city near by, to give a schoolconcert. I don't remember the concert itself, but I still feel that thrilling excitement getting his autograph ....Thanks to some old glass based records found in Frenk's collection I remembered that event and researched some aspects of Thom's career which I shared in the Keep Swinging blog. If you don't want to miss such contributions in future, ask for the news letter: Register

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